Himachal Pradesh : The Land of the Lords
|Image : Himalayan Trails|
Himachal Pradesh, known also as Devbhoomiis a traveller’s paradise. Cradled lovingly in the lap of the Himalayas, Himachal is resplendent with nature’s abundant beauty. Each of the twelve districts of Himachal has a distinct cultural heritage. Be it the chiming Chamba, captivating Kullu, mesmerising Mandi, scintillating Sirmaur charismatic Kullu- each place has something different to offer.
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Like any other state in India, Himachal Pradesh too is endowed with diversity in language. The principal language root might be the same for some regions, but the dialect changes to a great extent. The main languages are Hindi, Punjabi, Pahari (the accent for which changes significantly from place to place), Dogri, Mandeali, Kangri, Kinnauri etc.
Birth, marriage, crop harvests, local festivals are all accompanied by different kinds of dances. The main dances in the state are Naati– the Pahari dance, Karthi– the harvest dance in Kullu, the Burah– a dance performed during marriages in Sirmaur. Birsu, Ghugti, Kayang– the folk dance of Kinnaur, Sih and Bura– the dance dramas from Jubbal and Rohru etc. Most of these dances are accompanied by local ballads of heroism of ancient heroes or the romantic stories of couples lost in time, yet living till now in these folk narrations.
With over 2000 deities worshipped in this land of Gods, every month comes with its own tune humming of various festivals, fairs and celebrations. Along with all the major festivals celebrated all across the nation, Himachal has a storehouse of its own gems and jewels of many fests and fairs which have their own significance in the local traditions. To add to the festivity, there are now many modern fests and events promoted by the Himachal government to give an impetus to Himachal tourism.
The noticeable fests and fairs in the Lahaul Spiti area are Halda, Phagli– in Lahaul’s Pattanvalley, Dechhang, Lossor– a Buddhist festival, Char, Ghantal– celebrated on the June’s full moon night at Lahaul’s Guru Ghantal Monastery and the Lahaul festival.
|Image : Himalayan Trails|
The south western areas of Bilaspur and Una celebrate Baba Barbhag Singh Mela, Nalwari fair, Markandaya fair, a month long fair at the shrine of Deothsidh etc.
The famous Kullu Manali herald the celebrations of fairs and festivals like Dhoongri fair, Banjar fair, Sarhi Jatar, etc. Not to forget the world famous Dussehra celebrations held in Kullu. Shivratri too is a fancy affair with a weeklong celebration in Manali.
The Kangra valley revels in the celebrations like Rali, Shravan fair, Kangra Festival, Ashapurifair, festival of Sai etc. Whereas Chamba adorns itself for Sui Mala, Minjar, Manimahesh Yatra, Chrewal, Gugga fair etc.
Other noticeable festivals from other areas are Mahu Nag fair of Mandi, Rohru Jatar, Sipi fair of Mashobra, Solan Fair, Kaza’s Ladarcha fair, Shravana Sankranti at Nahan, Sair fair, Rampur Jatar, Bawan Dawadashi fair, Dal fair in Upper Dharmsala, Balasundari fair, ‘Fullaich‘- the festival of flowers from Kinnaur, Phool Yatra, Lavi fair and many more.
All these enliven the beautiful mysterious land of Himachal Pradesh.